Brand consultants have told the Czech Republic that it will make little progress until it gets itself a decent name. The country has been going gradually downhill for some time, this year not making it to the World Cup or even the Eurovision Song Contest finals.
Consultant Anna Tang explained that a proper name was not about absolute success but about punching your weight and holding your head high as a nation: ‘For a country to be in the top tier, its name must end with ‘land’ or the letter ‘a’. Second tier names can end in ‘an’ or ‘ay’, but that’s about it.
‘Ending in ‘e’ may seem harmless but it betrays smug complacency and is a no-no: look at France for example. But nothing is as unaspirational as an adjective followed by ‘Republic’. It’s so boring. People switch off immediately.’
Ms Tang compared the Czech Republic to other members of the former Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia. Slovakia, Serbia and Slovenia were buoyant, while Bosnia-Herzegovina had exceeded all expectations thanks to its rare use of two ‘a’ endings.
Germany, Italy and Spain have been quick to point out that their names all qualify for Tier 1 status in their own language. Montenegro has claimed the dispensation allowing territories beginning with ‘M’ to end with an ‘o’, also used by Mexico, Morocco and Monaco. India has been taunting Pakistan over its second tier status, which in turn has picked on Bangladesh, confirming the existing hierarchy.
Home Secretary Theresa May said the UK is bringing forward plans for full devolution, while Eire is understood to be considering calling itself Ireland again. Wales, unable to deploy the own language clause, is considering its position. Belgium and Luxembourg are said to be sulking, although no one had noticed.
Czechia and Czechland are favourites for the new name, with Bohemia and even Sudetenland receiving significant support in some quarters.
Tang predicts an Argentina Brazil World Cup final, with Argentina emerging victorious as Brazil’s name finally catches up with it.